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Perverse Accountability: A Formal Model of Machine Politics with Evidence from Argentina

Political machines (or clientelist parties) mobilize electoral support by trading particularistic benefits to voters in exchange for their votes. But if the secret ballot hides voters' actions from the machine, voters are able to renege, accepting benefits and then voting as they choose. To explain... Full description

Journal Title: The American political science review 2005-08, Vol.99 (3), p.315-325
Main Author: STOKES, SUSAN C
Format: Electronic Article Electronic Article
Language: English
Subjects:
Publisher: New York, USA: Cambridge University Press
ID: ISSN: 0003-0554
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recordid: cdi_proquest_miscellaneous_59687692
title: Perverse Accountability: A Formal Model of Machine Politics with Evidence from Argentina
format: Article
creator:
  • STOKES, SUSAN C
subjects:
  • Accountability
  • Argentina
  • ARTICLES
  • Ballots
  • Clientelism
  • Competition
  • Democracy
  • Diminishing marginal utility
  • Elections
  • Electoral campaigning
  • Electoral Systems
  • Hypotheses
  • Machinery
  • Patronage
  • Political Ideologies
  • Political machines
  • Political Parties
  • Political partisanship
  • Political science
  • Political systems
  • Politics
  • Vote buying
  • Voter behavior
  • Voters
  • Voting
  • Voting Behavior
  • Voting machines
ispartof: The American political science review, 2005-08, Vol.99 (3), p.315-325
description: Political machines (or clientelist parties) mobilize electoral support by trading particularistic benefits to voters in exchange for their votes. But if the secret ballot hides voters' actions from the machine, voters are able to renege, accepting benefits and then voting as they choose. To explain how machine politics works, I observe that machines use their deep insertion into voters' social networks to try to circumvent the secret ballot and infer individuals' votes. When parties influence how people vote by threatening to punish them for voting for another party, I call this accountability. I analyze the strategic interaction between machines and voters as an iterated prisoners' dilemma game with one-sided uncertainty. The game generates hypotheses about the impact of the machine's capacity to monitor voters, and of voters' incomes and ideological stances, on the effectiveness of machine politics. I test these hypotheses with data from Argentina.
language: eng
source:
identifier: ISSN: 0003-0554
fulltext: no_fulltext
issn:
  • 0003-0554
  • 1537-5943
url: Link


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descriptionPolitical machines (or clientelist parties) mobilize electoral support by trading particularistic benefits to voters in exchange for their votes. But if the secret ballot hides voters' actions from the machine, voters are able to renege, accepting benefits and then voting as they choose. To explain how machine politics works, I observe that machines use their deep insertion into voters' social networks to try to circumvent the secret ballot and infer individuals' votes. When parties influence how people vote by threatening to punish them for voting for another party, I call this accountability. I analyze the strategic interaction between machines and voters as an iterated prisoners' dilemma game with one-sided uncertainty. The game generates hypotheses about the impact of the machine's capacity to monitor voters, and of voters' incomes and ideological stances, on the effectiveness of machine politics. I test these hypotheses with data from Argentina.
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subjectAccountability ; Argentina ; ARTICLES ; Ballots ; Clientelism ; Competition ; Democracy ; Diminishing marginal utility ; Elections ; Electoral campaigning ; Electoral Systems ; Hypotheses ; Machinery ; Patronage ; Political Ideologies ; Political machines ; Political Parties ; Political partisanship ; Political science ; Political systems ; Politics ; Vote buying ; Voter behavior ; Voters ; Voting ; Voting Behavior ; Voting machines
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abstractPolitical machines (or clientelist parties) mobilize electoral support by trading particularistic benefits to voters in exchange for their votes. But if the secret ballot hides voters' actions from the machine, voters are able to renege, accepting benefits and then voting as they choose. To explain how machine politics works, I observe that machines use their deep insertion into voters' social networks to try to circumvent the secret ballot and infer individuals' votes. When parties influence how people vote by threatening to punish them for voting for another party, I call this accountability. I analyze the strategic interaction between machines and voters as an iterated prisoners' dilemma game with one-sided uncertainty. The game generates hypotheses about the impact of the machine's capacity to monitor voters, and of voters' incomes and ideological stances, on the effectiveness of machine politics. I test these hypotheses with data from Argentina.
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doi10.1017/S0003055405051683
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